The Lost Army

November 10th, 2009 | researchmaterial

This, on the other hand, is amazing.

The remains of a mighty Persian army said to have drowned in the sands of the western Egyptian desert 2,500 years ago might have been finally located, solving one of archaeology’s biggest outstanding mysteries, according to Italian researchers.

Bronze weapons, a silver bracelet, an earring and hundreds of human bones found in the vast desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert have raised hopes of finally finding the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II. The 50,000 warriors were said to be buried by a cataclysmic sandstorm in 525 B.C.

"We have found the first archaeological evidence of a story reported by the Greek historian Herodotus," Dario Del Bufalo, a member of the expedition from the University of Lecce, told Discovery News…

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8 Responses to “The Lost Army”

  1. Oh, cool!

    Herodotus is great. They call him the Father of History but Crazy Uncle of Digressions would also fit. He’s supposed to be writing the history of the Persian invading Greece but ends up talking about how the Indians taking gold from giant ant hills, or the great noble-warrior-barbarian Scythians, or some Babylonian (?) guys who claim to have circumnavigated Africa but they’re probably lying because they claim that during part of their journey the sun traveled in the northern part of the sky (think about it).

  2. Hey, the archeologists can do a Herodotus reality check:

    “On the field where this battle was fought I saw a very wonderful thing which the natives pointed out to me. The bones of the slain lie scattered upon the field in two lots, those of the Persians in one place by themselves, as the bodies lay at the first- those of the Egyptians in another place apart from them. If, then, you strike the Persian skulls, even with a pebble, they are so weak, that you break a hole in them; but the Egyptian skulls are so strong, that you may smite them with a stone and you will scarcely break them in. They gave me the following reason for this difference, which seemed to me likely enough:- The Egyptians (they said) from early childhood have the head shaved, and so by the action of the sun the skull becomes thick and hard. The same cause prevents baldness in Egypt, where you see fewer bald men than in any other land. Such, then, is the reason why the skulls of the Egyptians are so strong. The Persians, on the other hand, have feeble skulls, because they keep themselves shaded from the first, wearing turbans upon their heads.”

  3. well thanks to Alexander and the Arabs who all burnt down Persian libraries, we all have to rely on Herodotus now

  4. That is brilliant. I hope they manage to find more armour and weapons. Someone is going to get to write an awesome book about all this.

  5. I’ve read the occasional musing about the dimming prospects for big, exciting archaeological finds, with so many major sites already combed over (and the total, of course, remaining more or less fixed). In that context a find like this is even more wondrous. Glad that there is still treasure of this scale to be found.

  6. This is both awesome and and sad. I don’t want to imagine what they must have been thinking during their last hours, as the ones near the edge of the camp had their skin sandblasted away by the deafening winds and the ones in the center were slowly smothered by a phenomenon they had no way of understanding.

    If you have never had the terrible luck to be caught in a bad one, it looks like a fluffy brown mountain range is creeping over the horizon, then it gets closer and you see how fast it is and that it is towering over you so you cant even see the sky anymore, it gets black really fast, like its midnight, then it hits and even from inside a very well secured tent it sounds like thousands of people screaming at the top of their lungs.

  7. Babylonian (?) guys who claim to have circumnavigated Africa but they’re probably lying because they claim that during part of their journey the sun traveled in the northern part of the sky (think about it).

    What’s so strange? The sub traverses the northern sky during the southern hemisphere winter season.

  8. There’s a great thriller on this event by Paul Sussman, “The Lost Army of Cambyses”. Check it out! Sussman’s a former archeologist and has worked digs in Egypt. He’s also written two more set in Egypt: “The Last Secret of the Temple”, and “The Lost Oasis”. I mention them at my screenwriting and film blog, The Last Reveal (http://thelastreveal.blogspot.com/).